Tuesday, September 29, 2009


No, not the chlorophyll in the leaves, the green in your bottom line.

If you had a daily metric report in place, you would be able to answer that question.

What performance metrics do you want to monitor for your business unit on a continuous basis that are the most important and are very volatile for the achievement of operational and sales success? Also ask yourself what kind of precise micromanagement report you want, to whom should this report go to, and when and how often should this report be viewed when determining your businesses function and achievement ability.

On no more than a couple of 8½x11-inch pieces of paper, have a “snapshot” of the top five to ten critical statistical metrics that determine your business unit’s success available with comparisons for your daily morning review. If you do not have this report, you cannot be proactive in management. With a daily statistical data sheet/”house count”, you have the ability to spot trends, and thus, small corrections in the operations or sales can be initiated to neutralize the adverse effect of any negative component.

When you have daily statistical sheets that are simple, to the point, and full of the “most critical” metrics that you need, you can guide your business unit daily, which will lead to greater achievements of the business unit’s budget and stretch goals. Focus on managing your business unit today, so that today will be tomorrow and tomorrow will be your everything.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Are You Targeting The Right Customer For Your Summer Promotion?

Now that’s the Million Dollar question, are you?

When you set out to run your summer promotion, did you perform your due diligence on which you were first going to target with this promotion, so that you can see if you have the right customer, for the right outcome?

When you run a general promotion like “Sizzling Summer Deals”, don’t think that everyone wants/needs it, especially if your message is not directed to any special wants/needs of the demographic that you are promoting.

Before you commit to any promotion, you need to first ask the question and get answers to: What want/need is this promotion going to fill for a specific client, how are you going to get the message of your product information to them, how are you going to track the success of the promotion to determine the R.O.I., what ways are you going to build into this promotion a sense of urgency to commit to the purchase and finally, have you built in enough top of mind awareness to your targeted prospect, so that you differentiate your promotion from that of your competitive set?

When you get some sense of the answers to these above questions, a more detailed and directed promotion can evolve, which will result in greater success and R.O.I. to your expenditure. If you can just break your one promotion into 3 different ways in which you are going to target different prospects, you can then start to determine which one of those three promotions where successfully taken by the prospect and by whom. Once you determine this, a greater emphasize can be placed on that promotion and the unsuccessful ones can be modified to once again track and find the “hook” that will make your “right customer”, produce the right outcome for your promotion.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stop Your NO’s, Start Your KNOWS!

If you say NO to something, ask yourself, “Why did I just say NO to that?”

Start with knowing why you said no before you actually say NO, because once you say NO, that NO may have far-reaching consequences. When you commit to something by saying NO to it, and then end up finding out that you could have done it, an opportunity for that action is lost forever. Make sure that each decision you make has been well thought out.

Life has a rippling effect. When you always say NO to someone, soon they will start asking someone else, because they really wanted a yes from you. But, if every answer you give is yes and you cannot follow through with that yes commitment, soon your word will not hold any credibility, negatively impacting your life, career and business.

Remember, committing to something too fast is also never the answer 100% of the time. Knowing why you say yes or NO to something is the only way to be successful in following through with your commitments.

Do you know why you are reading this? Because, you said YES to making a difference in your life, career, and increasing the success rate of your small and mid-sized business!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Keep IT Simple

Your businesses is what is “IT”, with all of the information and bombardment of calls, e-mails, faxes, twitters, IM’s, texts and people, a business owner can feel overloaded and get misdirected and forget to keep an eye on what really matters to their success, THE BOTTOM LINE!

What’s the solution?

On no more than a couple of 8½x11-inch pieces of paper, have a “snapshot” of the top five to ten critical statistical metrics that determine your business unit’s success available with comparisons for your daily morning review. If you do not have this report, you cannot be proactive in management. With a daily statistical data sheet, you have the ability to spot trends, and thus, small corrections in the operations or sales can be initiated to neutralize the adverse effect of any negative component.

When you have daily statistical sheets that are simple, to the point, and full of the “most critical” metrics that you need, you can guide your business unit daily, which will lead to greater achievements of the business unit’s budget and stretch goals. Focus on managing your business unit today, so that today will be tomorrow and tomorrow will be your everything.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It’s June 1st, How Are You Pacing On Your Year-End 2009 Goals?

Your 5/12 or 41.37% completed with the year, do your numbers tell you if you are going to make your 2009 year-end budget numbers today? If you had a twelve month pacing model in place for your business, you would have an accurate reading about this question.

A pacing model can help your business unit gauge if it is on pace to meet the goals set forth and gives a quick “YES or NO” to that pacing question throughout your goals’ time frame.

A pacing model is different than a forecasting model, since a pacing model takes your historical numbers to date plus what is pre-sold/reserved and compares that number to where you want to be at the end of your goal, which in turn can inform you if you are on pace to meet those goals in the allocated amount of time, with no variables included in its calculation (seasonality, pricing variations, external demand and supply situations, etc.).

Think of a pacing model as a macro model that tells you yes or no to the success of finishing your goal in the time allocated. By having a pacing model in place, you can determine if your current sales activity is enough today, to generate the numbers needed to make your year-end goals, even if you are less than 50% completed to that year-end. It is not just good enough to produce your numbers TODAY; you must also look forward and make sure that today’s numbers will match your goals tomorrow. By knowing if you are “on pace” or not to your year-end goals, management can make decisions TODAY if the marketing and pricing strategies in place now will be adequate to meet those goals, thus implement changes if they are not.

Stopping and looking forward is the only way a good business person can guarantee that today’s efforts will lead to tomorrow’s goal achievement.

Do you have some sort of pacing model in place for your business unit? If not, you should, how else can you make sure you will be at the 100% to goal for year-end numbers, even though you still have 58.63% to go?


Monday, May 4, 2009

Are You Open?

Are your hours open to best maximize your top line sales or your lifestyle?

When your business doors are closed, do potential, current, or future customers (economic decision makers) stop spending their money? Do outside and inside factors affecting your business and your competition stop, or is someone out there creating a better widget than you, ending their day when you do? No, they are not!

Obviously, many factors come into play as a big part in determining your operational hours. But when was the last time you truly looked at your business unit’s hours with a critical and objective eye and made sure that they were appropriate to make your future goals? Or are those hours just posted for “your convenience?”

The traditional hours of Monday through Friday, nine to five, are a very antiquated way of thinking. This is a global economy that is always “on, open, or alive,” 24/7/52. When you are sleeping, someone from halfway around the world is working. Look at your traffic, both on and off line, are you open and ready when needed the most? Have you looked at your competition and know what their posted hours are? Do you have the right staff on and servicing the demand at a time to maximize product and service revenue collection? Ask your associates, your clients and even your competitive set, when does YOUR BUSINESS need to be open for YOUR CURRENT AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS? Forget about a given day, look at demand and build your business model around it, that way, you truly have a business FOR THE CLIENT’S wants and needs.

If you build it around the demand of your clients, they will come!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Did You Draft A Good Team?

How many of you watched the NFL draft yesterday?

If you missed it, you also missed out on a great Human Resources lesson; do you know what that was? You must strengthen the weakest links in your Human Resources Chain to make sure your entire Team wins. Each Team that drafted yesterday asked the same question, round after round; whom is available in the marketplace (on a team or not) to fill our gaps, which our Team needs to win the next Super Bowl. Each Team’s need is different, but their goal is not; how do we build a better Team. They do that by not being satisfied with their current Human Resources in place now and in the future, they are always looking to change this and that to make the right HR formula for their success.

The Human Resource department should never stop looking to “trade-up” on associate talent and reposition others for greater utilization within your business unit, and one successful way to achieve this is by having a full pipeline of candidates.

One way on the HR front is to have candidates (current and non-current associates) in a hiring pipeline for those soon-to-be-open/heavy-turnover-rated positions, ready to move through the HR pipeline to fill the void left by “something” happening to one of your “starters (associates).”

Remember, an HR pipeline is similar to a sales pipeline. An HR pipeline does not always mean that you have to retain someone on payroll, just in case. It can also refer to identifying someone who you can call upon to fill that HR vacancy within a short span of time and with as little disruption to the business unit as possible (in-house or not); a good database of resume’s never hurt any business! As with all pipeline process approaches, you must continuously be filling the opening of the pipeline with excess amounts of potential candidates so that the end-result of this ever-moving, constricting pipeline is a successful transition between a new and old associate for those upcoming, voided positions.

Now go win your Super Bowl!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Will You Spend A Penny Today, To Save A Dollar Tomorrow?

Do You Have A Preventative Maintenance Program Installed In Your Business Like A Hotel Does?

Preventative maintenance, or P.M., as we call it in the hotel industry, is a must to help lower your replacement costs and prevent possible operations and sales breakdowns that can affect your bottom line.

What do I mean by P.M.? Well, in the hotel business it means some of the following actions: scheduled coil cleaning of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units; bed mattress turning/rotating; cleaning/removing the sediment within the bottom of the hot water tanks; winterizing the exposed piping; caulking tub surrounds; shampooing the carpet, etc. The pattern of P.M. is this: tighten the screws, bolts, and belts; oil the lubricated moving parts; clean out areas that accumulate debris; and check on the status of the normal wear and tear of an item, so there is a proactive approach in maintaining its continued life cycle and use. Let’s say a hotel never did any P.M.s on its air conditioners and a very hot temperature index weekend occurs. The air conditioning units have not had adequate P.M. and may only be running at 30% capacity due to dirty filters and the Freon not being recharged.

Will the hotel get complaints? Will it have to refund money, lose future business, increase their utility bill, and have bad “word of mouth” created? The answer to everything is yes, but preventative maintenance could have helped to avoid and minimize these above situations.

Preventative maintenance is not limited to mechanical items only. Do a P.M. on your human resources and the complete business unit as well. When was the last time you went around and made sure that all of the correct Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posters were in the right place and current? When was the last time that you made sure your locked storage area was secure and functional? The old saying, “An ounce of prevention can give you a lifetime of protection” is correct when it comes to installing P.M. in your business unit. By performing P.M. within your business unit(s), you are showing a proactive management style that can lead to lower cost structures through your expenses and growth of your top and bottom lines.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Use Amenity Selling To Increase Your Sales!

In the hotel industry, they talk about amenity selling because amenities can set a hotel apart from its competition’s price point, because a hotel’s core product (the bed and shower) functions the same as most everyone else’s. But, when you sell your core product with amenities wrapped around it, the opportunity for rate variation and “apples to oranges” comparison selling exists within the marketplace. Amenity selling is a perceived value, not concrete, that can lead to greater revenue opportunities from your client base.

For example, a majority of hotel customers can quickly compare room rates at one hotel to the room rates at another hotel, but a hotel’s customers’ estimation varies greatly on the dollar amount that they will pay for items like turn-down service, indoor pool, Wi-Fi, free breakfast, express check in/out, frequent stay clubs, tennis courts, theme decorations, amusement/water parks, ocean/beachfront views, twenty-four-hour restaurant, spa, golf course, casino, shopping outlets, location of the hotel, bars, etc. These are all examples of amenities that wrap around the core product (the bed and shower) that raise room rates and cause variation within the same product line and competitive set.

What about roadside assistance plans from the auto makers, another amenity? What about the fast food industry, have they not sold us on an amenity we call the drive thru? What about the emerging use of accepting debit cards as payment in businesses (flexible payment options) around someone’s core product line? What about the laundry detergent bottles that have a “no-mess bottle?” Just one more example in a long list of products that sell amenities around their core product line.

Look all around and you can see that most businesses have an amenity to sell in one form and fashion, but have you really put great thought into amenity selling for your marketing campaigns to increase your pricing points and acquire more customers? Probably not, but why? Examine your business unit’s amenities that are in place now, and what could be added, so that you could wrap them around your core product line to create rate variations within your marketplace and gain greater market share, thus growing your bottom line.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy 2009, NOW WHAT?

First, stop making the first thought of your days in 2009, negative.

How many times do you set your alarm clock and think, “I do not want to wake up that early,” or “How early do I have to get up?” But if this is the last thought in your mind before bedtime, that idea festers and plays over and over in your mind throughout the night. When you wake up, you hit that snooze button and say, “Surely it is not tomorrow already.” From now on this year, you need to set the alarm clock and say to yourself, “I cannot wait for tomorrow to come, so that I can make a difference in my life and career.” When that alarm clock sounds, jump out of bed and walk around for at least two minutes so you do not get back into bed. This will start off your day charging and thinking in your mind about all of the opportunities you have to make a difference.

Second, stop putting your concerns first.

What is the worst that could happen if you always say, “What do I get for me?” If you do, there will never be much of “me” in the end at work.

We are all connected to one another, and each of us relies on hundreds, if not thousands, of people daily to live the way we do at this very moment. How did you get to work? Did you drive? Think for a moment. How many people did it take to dig up the raw materials necessary to make your car? How many people did it take to assemble your car? How many people did it take to produce the gas/energy supply for your car? And how many people did it take to build the road that you drove on to get to work? The list goes on, but you can see the connection forming. Start to see that “me” should mean “us.” From that, when you look at any project or a task to complete at work, ask yourself instead, “What do we get for us?” first, and then you can start to move your success dial for “me.” WE WIN AS ONE in 2009!